New York State Parks Police said a woman who was pulled from a submerged car near the brink of Niagara Falls on Wednesday has died.
In a dramatic scene earlier in the day, a U.S. Coast Guard rescue diver deployed from a helicopter and climbed into the partially submerged car, pulling the woman out of the frigid water.
Onlookers said the car was stuck on rocks about 100 feet from the edge of waterfall as the heavy current washed over the top of the windshield.
Police Capt. Chris Rola said at a news conference afterward that the woman, who was in her 60s, was unresponsive after the rescue and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name hasn’t been released, pending notification of her family.
Rola said police first received a 911 call at 11:50 a.m. ET about a black vehicle in the Niagara River floating towards the Falls, away from a pedestrian bridge upstream.
“We’ve never had a vehicle in the water this close to the brink,” Rola said.
After determining someone was inside the car, officials contacted the Coast Guard, having concluded that a helicopter was the only safe means to conduct a rescue.
It’s unclear why the driver drove into the river, or if she did so intentionally. An investigation is ongoing.
State parks officials are now working to determine how to best remove the car from the river.